This report presents information on the clients and agencies in the state of Massachusetts. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network.
- The FA system in Massachusetts provides emergency food for an estimated 571,600 different people annually.
- 33% of the members of client households in Massachusetts are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 31% of client households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- Among client households with children, 79% are food insecure and 31% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 18.104.22.168).
- 44% of clients in Massachusetts report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).
- 33% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).
- 22% of client households in Massachusetts report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)
- At the administration of this survey, 3 food banks or FROs affiliated with FA operated in Massachusetts. Of the agencies that were served by those organizations, 731 agencies that had their operation within the state responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 587 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.
- 52% of pantries, 45% of kitchens, and 15% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).
- Among programs that existed in 2006, 87% of pantries, 75% of kitchens, and 41% of shelters in Massachusetts reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).
- Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 71% of the food distributed by pantries, 43% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 40% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).
- As many as 95% of pantries, 91% of kitchens, and 58% of shelters in Massachusetts use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).